I'm Back, Alive, and WellWell, I'm back and other than cutting my toe on some broken glass last night while cleaning out my refrigerator, I'm just fine (who knew cuts on your feet could bleed so much, though?).
Anyway, I am happy to say that J, our puppy Parker, and I are just fine, as are the rest of my friends and family. However, I am a bit sad to report that the ground floor of my house flooded and there are several leaks in our ceiling. I was a bit upset because my house is pretty new, and I really expected it to be able to withstand the storm, but it was a hurricane after all, and I don't have any major damage, so I'm thankful for that. And now I get to remodel the master bedroom (that's me trying to stay positive)!
Hopefully this week I'll be able to post some pictures of my house and some of the surrounding areas. I just got power back last night, but I still don't have cable or Internet. Once I do I'll try to get some pictures up for you to take a look at. It really is an unbelievable thing to drive around and see a major city completely dark with trees, debris, and even some buildings down everywhere. I can't even imagine what areas on the coast like Galveston must look like in person.
Before the hurricane started, my step-dad emailed me to remind me to do some last-minute preparations and then ended by telling me that I was going to see "the most extreme weather of my life" and reminding me to make sure my camera's battery was charged. He wasn't kidding.
Two friends stayed with J and me at our place, and we spent most of the early evening/night talking, watching the news, drinking margaritas, etc. Kind of like a mini hurricane party. We even went outside several times to watch the trees sway as the wind picked up. It was pretty windy by night fall, but that was about it. By 3am or so the hurricane was in full tilt. Every window in the house sounded like it was going to explode at any second from the wind. On the second and 3rd floors you could literally feel my house swaying, and the creeks, groans, and whistles coming from every corner made me wonder if the house was even going to stay put.
As the hurricane moved past us, the winds changed direction and were pounding right at the french doors leading from my bedroom to the patio. The doors were shaking so hard that it honestly sounded like someone was trying to break them down. I got out of bed at least 3 times to look and see if the windows had broken behind the blinds because the noise was so loud.
At some point in the early morning J got out of bed too and stepped down onto wet carpet. At first we thought it was just a small spot, but it was clear pretty quickly that it was the whole floor, so we immediately started moving furniture and pulling out carpet. We had the room emptied and the carpet out into the street by 10am or so, while the last winds and rain of the hurricane were still hanging on.
After less than a day of no power and a house that now looked like a bomb went off because of displaced furniture and leftover dishes from the night before, we found a house with some electricity and went there for the night, only to have another storm blow through over night to make the largest hole in my ceiling even bigger. An hour or so after getting back home, we high-tailed it to Austin, where I stayed the night. J and our friends are still there, but they're coming back tonight.
The city is under a nighttime curfew through Monday, and last night the restaurant we ate at (one of the very few that was open) were only serving fajitas and beer. The city is slowly getting back to normal, and my house will too--new and improved (I hope).
So, that's the update and the story. Moral of the story is that I'm now boycotting hurricanes; or at the very least evacuating next time--I'm not too proud to admit that the experience was just a bit scarier than I had anticipated.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers and kind words. I'll update later as I have time with pictures and even maybe some commentary about the city/nation's response. You know I can't pass that opportunity up.
Take care everyone.